Couscous is a useful (and delicious!) no-cook starch side that’s traditionally served with some sort of stew. A staple throughout North Africa, the classic starch of choice for Moroccan dishes like tagine, just pour over hot liquid, leave to soak for 10 minutes, then fluff!
What exactly is couscous??
Many people think couscous is a grain, but actually they are teeny tiny balls made of semolina flour so it’s actually more of a pasta.
And the beauty of the teeny size of these balls is that they are so small, they don’t need to be cooked. You literally just pour over hot liquid, leave it covered for 10 minutes, then voila! “Cooked” and ready to serve!
What you need for couscous
Here’s what you need to make the couscous.
- Chicken or vegetable stock – tastier than using just water for soaking;
- Oil (or butter) helps the grains separate easier, as well as adding flavour; and
- Lemon – for a little spritz of fresh to perk it up, especially great when serving with flavour loaded Middle Easter food.
For an extra little touch, add a sprinkle of fresh herbs (parsley and mint or coriander/cilantro is a classic combination) or fruit and nuts.
But me, I just can’t help myself. I do it all – the fresh herbs, the dried fruit and the nuts!
Serve with all things Middle Eastern, but especially stewy things like tagine. It’s made for soaking with flavourful broths!
No video for this one. You don’t need it – it’s dead easy! – Nagi x
A light sprinkle of fresh herbs adds welcome colour, or fruit and nuts to add interest. Me, I do both! Exceptional served with Vegetable Tagine.
Makes 5 cups (fluffed)
- 2 cups couscous
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock , low sodium
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp coriander/cilantro , finely chopped
- 2 tbsp parsley , finely chopped
Fruit and nuts:
- 1/3 cup dried apricots , chopped
- 1/3 cup currants or sultanas
- 2 tbsp slivered almonds , toasted
Heat chicken stock until boiling using whatever method you choose (stove, 3 – 4 minutes in microwave on high).
Pour over couscous in a heatproof bowl. Shake to level the couscous, cover with plate (or cling wrap).
Leave for 10 minutes, then fluff with fork. Stir through olive oil, lemon juice and salt.
2. Nutrition per serving (145g / 5 oz per serve), for herbed couscous.
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